IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/asieco/v72y2021ics1049007820301329.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Income inequality and ethnic cleavages in Malaysia: Evidence from distributional national accounts (1984–2014)

Author

Listed:
  • Khalid, Muhammed Abdul
  • Yang, Li

Abstract

In this paper, by combining information obtained from national accounts, household surveys, and fiscal data, we document the evolution of income inequality in Malaysia, not only at the national level (for the period of 1984–2014) but also by ethnic group (for the period of 2002–2014). To our knowledge this is the first attempt to produce inequality measurements of Malaysia, which are fully consistent with the national accounts. Our research shows that despite Malaysia’s exceptional economic growth rate, its growth has been inclusive. For the period of 2002–2014, the real income growth for the bottom 50 % is the highest (5.2 %), followed by the middle 40 % (4.1 %), the top 10 % (2.7 %) and then the top 1 % (1.6 %). However, while average growth rates are positive across all ethnic groups (Bumiputera 4.9 %, Indians 4.8 %, and Chinese 2.7 %), the highest growth of real income per adult accrued to the Bumiputera in the top 1 % (at 8.3 %), which sharply contrasts the much lower growth rate of the Indians (at 3.4 %) and negative income growth rates of the Chinese (at −0.6 %). Despite the negative growth rate, the Chinese still account for the lion’s share in the top 1 %. In 2014, 60 % of the adults in the top 1 % income group are Chinese, while 33 % Bumiputera, and 6 % Indians. We conclude that in this period, Malaysia’s growth features an inclusive redistribution between income classes, but with a twist between racial groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Khalid, Muhammed Abdul & Yang, Li, 2021. "Income inequality and ethnic cleavages in Malaysia: Evidence from distributional national accounts (1984–2014)," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:72:y:2021:i:c:s1049007820301329
    DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2020.101252
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1049007820301329
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.asieco.2020.101252?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang & Gabriel Zucman, 2019. "Capital Accumulation, Private Property, and Rising Inequality in China, 1978–2015," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(7), pages 2469-2496, July.
    2. Ravallion, Martin, 2020. "Ethnic inequality and poverty in Malaysia since May 1969. Part 2: Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    3. Tasha Fairfield & Michel Jorratt De Luis, 2016. "Top Income Shares, Business Profits, and Effective Tax Rates in Contemporary Chile," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(S1), pages 120-144, August.
    4. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony Atkinson & Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Distributional National Accounts (DINA) Guidelines : Concepts and Methods used in WID.world," Working Papers halshs-02794308, HAL.
    5. Thomas Blanchet & Juliette Fournier & Thomas Piketty, 2022. "Generalized Pareto Curves: Theory and Applications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(1), pages 263-288, March.
    6. Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty, 2019. "Indian Income Inequality, 1922‐2015: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(S1), pages 33-62, November.
    7. A. B. Atkinson, 2005. "Top incomes in the UK over the 20th century," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(2), pages 325-343, March.
    8. Filip Novokmet & Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 189-223, June.
    9. Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1310.
    10. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    11. Ravallion, Martin, 2020. "Ethnic inequality and poverty in Malaysia since May 1969. Part 1: Inequality," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    12. Garbinti, Bertrand & Goupille-Lebret, Jonathan & Piketty, Thomas, 2018. "Income inequality in France, 1900–2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (DINA)," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 63-77.
    13. Annette Alstadsæter & Niels Johannesen & Gabriel Zucman, 2019. "Tax Evasion and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(6), pages 2073-2103, June.
    14. Piketty, Thomas & Chancel, Lucas, 2017. "Indian income inequality, 1922-2014: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj ?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Antoine Bozio & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Malka Guillot & Thomas Piketty, 2018. "Inequality and Redistribution in France, 1990-2018: Evidence from Post-Tax Distributional National Accounts (DINA)," Working Papers hal-02878151, HAL.
    16. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1, October.
    17. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)," Working Papers halshs-02794339, HAL.
    18. Commission on Growth and Development, 2008. "The Growth Report : Strategies for Sustained Growth and Inclusive Development," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6507, December.
    19. Branko Milanovic, 2006. "Inequality and Determinants of Earnings in Malaysia, 1984–1997," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 191-216, June.
    20. Branko Milanovic & Tasha Fairfield & Michel Jorratt De Luis, 2016. "Top Income Shares, Business Profits, and Effective Tax Rates in Contemporary Chile," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62, pages 120-144, August.
    21. Thomas Blanchet & Ignacio Flores & Marc Morgan, 2022. "The weight of the rich: improving surveys using tax data," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 20(1), pages 119-150, March.
    22. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Savings," NBER Chapters, in: Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953), pages 171-218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Marc Morgan, 2017. "Extreme and Persistent Inequality: New Evidence for Brazil Combining National Accounts, Surveys and Fiscal Data, 2001-2015," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-02794605, HAL.
    24. Ishak Shari, 2000. "Economic Growth And Income Inequality In Malaysia, 1971–95," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1-2), pages 112-124.
    25. Thomas Piketty, 2003. "Income Inequality in France, 1901-1998," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1004-1042, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang, 2022. "Income and Wealth Inequality in Hong Kong, 1981-2020: The Rise of Pluto-Communism?," Working Papers halshs-03828873, HAL.
    2. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang, 2022. "Income and Wealth Inequality in Hong Kong, 1981-2020: The Rise of Pluto-Communism?," PSE Working Papers halshs-03828873, HAL.
    3. Ernst Coupet & Ehab Yamani, 2022. "The impact of the coronavirus on African American unemployment: lessons from history," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 56(1), pages 1-18, December.
    4. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang, 2022. "Income and Wealth Inequality in Hong Kong, 1981-2020: The Rise of Pluto-Communism?," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-03828873, HAL.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Muhammed Abdul Khalid & Li Yang, 2019. "Income Inequality and Ethnic Cleavages in Malaysia: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (1984-2014)," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876992, HAL.
    2. Muhammed Abdul Khalid & Li Yang, 2019. "Income Inequality and Ethnic Cleavages in Malaysia: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (1984-2014)," Working Papers hal-02876992, HAL.
    3. Thomas Blanchet & Ignacio Flores & Marc Morgan, 2022. "The weight of the rich: improving surveys using tax data," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 20(1), pages 119-150, March.
    4. Garbinti, Bertrand & Goupille-Lebret, Jonathan & Piketty, Thomas, 2018. "Income inequality in France, 1900–2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (DINA)," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 63-77.
    5. Bartels, Charlotte & Waldenström, Daniel, 2021. "Inequality and top incomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 959, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Piketty, Thomas & Bozio, Antoine & Garbinti, Bertrand & Goupille-Lebret, Jonathan & Guillot, Malka, 2020. "Predistribution vs. Redistribution: Evidence from France and the U.S," CEPR Discussion Papers 15415, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lucas Chancel, 2019. "Ten facts about income inequality in advanced economies," Working Papers hal-02876982, HAL.
    8. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2018. "Inequality in Poland: Estimating the whole distribution by g-percentile 1983-2015," LIS Working papers 731, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    9. Facundo Alvaredo & Lydia Assouad & Thomas Piketty, 2019. "Measuring lnequality in the Middle East 1990–2016: The World’s Most Unequal Region?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(4), pages 685-711, December.
    10. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang, 2022. "Income and Wealth Inequality in Hong Kong, 1981-2020: The Rise of Pluto-Communism?," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-03828873, HAL.
    11. Gabriel Zucman, 2019. "Global Wealth Inequality," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 109-138, August.
    12. Thomas Blanchet & Lucas Chancel & Amory Gethin, 2019. "How Unequal is Europe? Evidence from Distributional National Accounts, 1980-2017," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02877000, HAL.
    13. Thomas Blanchet & Juliette Fournier & Thomas Piketty, 2022. "Generalized Pareto Curves: Theory and Applications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(1), pages 263-288, March.
    14. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2019. "Between Communism and Capitalism: Long-Term Inequality in Poland, 1892- 2015," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876995, HAL.
    15. Thomas Piketty & Li Yang, 2022. "Income and Wealth Inequality in Hong Kong, 1981-2020: The Rise of Pluto-Communism?," PSE Working Papers halshs-03828873, HAL.
    16. Bukowski, Pawel & Novokmet, Filip, 2019. "Between communism and capitalism: long-term inequality in Poland, 1892-2015," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102834, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2019. "Between Communism and Capitalism: Long-Term Inequality in Poland, 1892- 2015," Working Papers hal-02876995, HAL.
    18. Piketty, Thomas & Alvaredo, Facundo & Assouad, Lydia, 2017. "Measuring inequality in the Middle East 1990-2016: The World’s Most Unequal Region?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12405, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Thomas Blanchet & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Clara Martínez-Toledano, 2018. "Applying Generalized Pareto Curves to Inequality Analysis," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 114-118, May.
    20. Filip Novokmet & Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 189-223, June.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:asieco:v:72:y:2021:i:c:s1049007820301329. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/asieco .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.